fleetmouse wrote:I'd like to address this idea of contingency in the sense of dependence on context. The way philosopher Richard Swinburne expresses it is that moral properties are supervenient upon non-moral properties.Robin Yergenson wrote:And these truths have context. They do not apply to rocks and are therefore not necessarily true nor contingently true for rocks. These oughts are contingent upon a certain context
"It may be that all acts of telling lies are bad, or it may be that all acts of telling lies in such and such circumstances (the description of which is a long one) are bad. But it must be that if there is a world W in which a certain action A having various non-moral properties is bad, there could not be another world W* which was exactly the same as W in all non-moral respects, but in which A was not bad. If capital punishment for murder is not bad in one world, but is bad in another world, there must be some non-moral difference between the two worlds which makes the moral difference – for example that capital punishment deters people from committing murder in the first world but not in the second world. Moral properties, to use philosophical terminology are supervenient on non-moral properties. And the supervenience must be logical supervenience. Our concept of the moral is such that it makes no sense to suppose both that there is a world W in which A is wrong and a world W* exactly the same as W except that in W* A is good. It follows that there are logically necessary truths of the form ‘If an action has non-moral properties B, C and D, it is morally good’, ‘If an action has non-moral properties D, E and F, it is morally wrong’ and so on. If there are moral truths, there are necessary moral truths – general principles of morality. I re-emphasise that, for all I have said so far, these may often be very complicated principles. All moral truths are either necessary (of the above kind) or contingent. Contingent moral truths (e.g. that what you did yesterday was good) derive their truth from some contingent non-moral truth (e.g. that what you did yesterday was to feed the starving) and some necessary moral truth (e.g. that all acts of feeding the starving are good)."
I realize that's a difficult passage to digest. The rest of the essay is here. It's well worth reading.
Well, I went there and scanned it one time and then read it again.
One thing I don't understand~
But he also says on the 2nd 'page, after bringing up things such as slavery, suttee, racism~Our concept of the moral is such that it makes no sense to suppose both that there is a world W in which A is wrong and a world W* exactly the same as W except that in W* A is good.
And if those of some other culture think otherwise, they are obviously mistaken –just as obviously mistaken as are solipsists and flat-earthers.
He does not need to suppose two identical worlds where A is wrong and A is good. It would be happening on Earth.
Two different cultures. Culture W, A is good. Culture W*, A is bad.
IF, I understood this, his argument seems to be geared around the above two Worlds scenario. Which shows a necessary moral truth. But, by that quote right above it shows that this happens in this world. He just says they are obviously mistaken.
I don't see where the logic is that proves something is necessarily true. Maybe I will read it again some other time.
Just my thoughts. This is not an argument. It is something I find odd.
Also, his idea of God seems to be different then mine.